Ransom sought as Norwegian millionaire's wife kidnapped

Erika Holt
January 10, 2019

Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, 68, disappeared from her home near Oslo on 31 October.

Police said the case was given a "low profile" because of the threats but went public in an effort to garner information on her whereabouts, BBC News reported.

"A ransom demand and serious threats have been issued", Insp Tommy Brøske told reporters.

Police believe she disappeared from the couple's home, some 31 miles from the Swedish border.

"We have no suspects in this case".

Investigators said they had no suspects at this stage.

The house of Norwegian multi-millionaire Tom Hagen is cordonned off in Fjellhamar, east of Oslo.

Norwegian police say the wife of one of Norway's richest men may have been abducted and a demand for 9-million euro ($10.3-million) ransom in a cryptocurrency, considered a popular virtual currency among cyber-criminals, has been made. Cryptocurrencies are hard to trace.

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He said officers had been working on the case for several weeks and have urged the family not to pay the ransom.

"Our goal is to find the woman alive and reunite her with the family", Mr Broske said.

Brøske said investigators had had "very limited" contacts with the purported kidnappers online, but refused to disclose the date of the most recent contact.

The estimated value of the family is estimated to be around $199 million, and are listed as the 172nd richest family in the country by Norway's financial Magazine, Kapital.

A real estate investor, he owns 70 per cent of electricity company Elkraft which he co-founded in 1992, Norwegian media reported.

The kidnappers are demanding $10 million dollars in exchange for Haden's release, which they want paid in the cryptocurrency monero.

Police were due to give a press conference on the matter later Wednesday.

"There's no doubt that for the family, Anne-Elisabeth's kidnapping is a disgusting and inhumane act", he said, expressing hopes that news of her disappearance would lead to some kind of sign that she is alive. According to the local VG newspaper, the kidnappers left a written note in the couple's home saying the woman would be killed if the police got involved.

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